The Color of Law Author Richard Rothstein to Speak to Cincinnati Audiences
AIA Cincinnati’s Urban Design Committee and ULI Cincinnati’s REAL will host celebrated author Richard Rothstein on December 1.
The Cincinnati Business Courier and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber have announced the winners of the 2020 CLIMB (Cincinnati Lifts Inclusion and Minority Business) Awards.
The program, now in its third year, honors individuals and organizations in Greater Cincinnati who have helped our region achieve greater heights of success through building a diverse workforce, championing equitable practices and developing inclusive cultures.
This year’s CLIMB honorees are:
Partnering for Success – Messer Construction and Easterseals
The Uptown Workforce Development Initiative is an innovative partnership designed to create sustainable jobs while breaking the cycle of poverty. Messer provides on-the-job training and mentoring to Uptown residents who complete Easterseals’ Building Value “working hardening” program and join Messer or a Messer subcontractor while received two years of coaching and support from Easterseals.
Growing Business by Serving Employees – PathForward
PathForward sought to strengthen its business by helping its employees overcome the challenges that can lead to missed time from work. It structured its Employee Assistance Program to help with Lyft rides to and from work, monthly Metro passes, day care, rent and utilities. In the past two years, the company has seen a 37% reduction in attrition and 95% of participants have stopped receiving funds.
Changing the Face of Business – Urban Land Institute Real Estate Accelerator Lab
In 2018, ULI convened with others in the commercial real estate space to increase minority participation in real estate development. The Real Estate Accelerator Lab was born, providing a comprehensive curriculum that helps underrepresented individuals in commercial real estate gain technical skills and the relationships they can use to assume leadership roles. ULI corrals the power, expertise, and energy of 80 corporate and community leaders in the commercial real estate industry to execute the program. The first cohort of 25 members has graduated with the second class of 25 underway, a cohort that is 80% people of color and 50% women.
Changing the Face of Business – Hillman Accelerator and Lightship Capital
Founded in 2017, Hillman is the first accelerator program in the Midwest focused exclusively on underrepresented entrepreneurs and founders across the U.S. Since then, it has invested $20 million in 15 minority companies. In 2018, Hillman CEO Candace Brackeen and her business partner-husband, Brian Brackeen, launched Lightship Capital, a venture fund to invest in early stage companies founded by minority entrepreneurs. This past summer, Lightship announced a historic inaugural $50 million fund. More than half of the fund has been invested already.
Modeling Opportunities for All – Prolocity
Since 2018, Prolocity has made a concerted effort to drive more diversity in its own organization and into the Salesforce Talent Alliance that it serves. The company has doubled the size of its team, with a new employee base that is 50% LGBTQ, female or racially diverse. In addition, 31% of senior leaders are diverse. Prolocity has also delivered on its pledge to recruit a diverse base of job seekers for the Salesforce Talent Alliance and develop them into certified professionals for the tech industry.
Modeling Opportunities for All – The Children’s Home
In 2015, the Children’s Home embarked on a growth trajectory that has resulted in the biggest revenue growth of the organization’s history while at the same time reduced employee turnover by 55%. Helping drive that growth was the agency’s commitment to diversifying its senior leadership team, its Board of Directors and its workforce to better reflect the population it serves. The current team is 80% female and 30% minority, and includes active efforts to recruit veterans and people of all abilities. In addition, the agency has targeted programs to grow its business with women- and minority-owned enterprises and to provide job training programs for people with disabilities.
Building Inclusive Community – City of Montgomery
After anti-Muslim slurs were made against a family in Montgomery in 2018, the city responded by creating the Diversity and Inclusion Committee that quickly began taking action. Education sessions and events designed to create space for community dialogue have attracted more than 300 people. It is led by citizen volunteers of various races, faiths, nationalities, ages and life experiences and joined by city council members and city staff including the city manager and police chief. The city’s Citizens’ Leadership Academy is informed closely by diversity and inclusion programming and to date has graduated 280 community members over 12 years.
The Chamber also bestows a Diverse by Design Award to recognize initiatives that align with efforts to attract, develop and retain diverse talent and move the region toward full inclusion.
Diverse by Design Award for Creating Pathways for Diverse Leadership – Carl Satterwhite, president of RCF Group
In 2018, Satterwhite launched the Black Leadership Forum to build a support ecosystem for African Americans who have chosen to relocate to Cincinnati. In two years, he has convened nearly 300 African American leaders and business owners. In addition, at the outset of 2020, he partnered the forum with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to provide 15 minority nonprofit leaders with training about management and fundraising for their organizations.
In conjunction with the CLIMB Awards, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s nationally recognized Minority Business Accelerator presents the following awards:
Pace Setter Award – Trio Enterprises (Carvel Simmons, president and CEO)
Community Impact Award – TriVersity Construction (Melvin Gravely, president and CEO)
Innovator of the Year – OneBridge (Karen Cooper, president and CEO)
Capacity to Excel Award – Vazquez Commercial Contracting (Joe Vazquez, president and CEO)
Goal Setter of the Year – First Financial Bank (Archie Brown, president and CEO)
Winners of the CLIMB and MBA awards will be featured in package of stories in the Dec. 4 edition of the Courier and honored during a virtual awards ceremony that will broadcast at 6 p.m. Dec. 17 on WSTR Star 64. No registration is required to watch the live event.